The Identity Issue of Marie Claire featuring Kerry Washington just went live across the magazine’s digital platforms and will be available on newsstands March 7th. This issue’s theme explores the complexities of what identity means in 2023, whether that means changing, reinventing, or even losing who you are.
What we loved about this issue is that Kerry opened up about subjects she rarely shares about — like her hubby of nearly ten years, Nnamdi Asomugha! Kerry told Marie Claire:
“I’m in my immediate truth with [him]. Those mirrors are important because they help me get back to myself.”
Kerry also shared a little bit about her and Asomugha’s children (they have a 17-year-old daughter from his previous relationship, and share a daughter Isabelle, 8, and a son Caleb, 6). While she’s dead set on preserving their privacy and has never so much as shared a photo of them on her social media, she did tell the magazine that she’s raising them to be strong and independent.
“Part of their journey is to know not everybody’s going to hold your hand all the time. I try to show up as the person they need to help them be the best versions of themselves.”
Another relationship she did share about was her longtime friendship with Tracee Ellis Ross.
“The thing you lose in these positions,” she says of fame, “people stop wanting to be 100.” One girlfriend she’s “grateful to be able to walk through life with,” she says, is fellow actress Tracee Ellis Ross. The two, who have been friends for over 20 years, “share very vulnerably and intimately when there’s rough moments,” says Ross. They also celebrate each other’s evolution. “I’ve seen her feet get more firmly planted in her sense of herself as she has gotten older.”
While Kerry, 46, is definitely a stunning example of the popular saying that “Black don’t crack,” the actress also addressed how she feels about being in her 40’s:
“There’s something about getting into my 40s where I am starting to see you only get this one life. To spend this one life wanting to be anybody other than me, and not be where I am, doesn’t benefit me. To focus on what’s over there means I’m ignoring my gifts, and this garden of my life doesn’t get to flourish. What’s mine is mine, and it’s beautiful.”
Kerry was definitely a great pick to cover the Identity Issue because her first book, Thicker Than Water due out in September, dives deep into that theme.
“It’s a lot about my search for security in my sense of self,” she says.
She actually spoke in depth with Marie Claire about her search for being at home with herself after immersing herself so deeply in the characters she’s played.
“I’ve made a career into being other people because being other people is comfortable for me. Being in myself, being with myself in my own body as myself, is a much newer adventure for me. When the job ends, the movie’s over, and the incredible run of the historic TV show ends, it’s important to have a self to go back to.”
Fortunately, she’s done an amazing job of choosing some great roles — including of course, Olivia Pope in Scandal, a role which helped her make history as the first Black woman to play the lead in a network drama since the ’70s.
Washington recognizes that her Scandal experience was “part of something transformative and culturally significant,” but she has been intentional about her choices in roles from the start.
“Even in the beginning of my career, I would say I’d rather work another shift at the restaurant than do a movie that is going to be bad for women or Black people.”
We LOVE that!
Next up for Washington is the Hulu dramedy UnPrisoned, which she also produced. She stars as a therapist and single mother whose life shifts in a big way when her father (portrayed by Delroy Lindo) is released from prison and moves in with her and her son.
Washington says her involvement in the project was led by her desire to “unpack dynamics of returning citizens through this comedic, loving lens,” she says. “Given how massive the prison industrial complex is and what a huge problem it is in this country, I thought this is something a lot of people can relate to.”
We love that.
Check out the trailer for UnPrisoned below and pick up the new issue of Marie Claire on newsstands March 7th.